The Honeysuckle Environment Project (HREP) was created in 2002 in response to a Violet Town community workshop which listed in priority order, things that community members wanted to improve in our town. Restoring the health of the Honeysuckle Creek environment where it flowed through the centre of the Violet Town Recreation Reserve was high on the list. The Recreation Reserve is the area bounded by Tulip Street, Hurt Street, Baird Street and the railway line. The project aimed not just to beautify the area but also to increase the habitat available to the critically endangered Squirrel Gliders and Grey Crowned Babblers that were known to still live in our Violet Town area.
New faces are always welcome to join us and participate in our working bees and activities.
The HREP group formed and set about revegetating the verges of the creek and also parts of the drier north side of the reserve beneath the remnant native trees. As well as involving the community in working bees, they installed a wide 3 kilometre walking track on both sides of the creek and worked with the Shire to have a new walking bridge built above flood level so that more people could access the area and enjoy the walking track loop.
Community information sessions were held every year as well as spotlighting walks and educational involvement with the school children. The HREP group has also monitored the birdlife and other animal life over the years as the habitat improved. The survey results can be seen on this website.
Work has continued for 20 years and the Violet Town Recreation Reserve can now offer a beautiful bushy area alongside the creek to walk and relax as well as other inviting areas for picnics and gatherings.
Some significant dates and achievements:
2002 The inaugural committee consisting of Tim Mahar, Susan Mahar, Kate Stothers, Lance Williams, Andie Guerin, Sue Paton, Howard Myers, and Bec Nicoll was appointed.
2004 A Masterplan was produced by consultants Thompson Berrill Landscape Design
2004 Substantial grants were received from the Small Towns Development Fund, Regional Partnerships, Envirofunds, Natural Heritage Trust, VTAG, the Strathbogie Shire and the Helen McPherson Fund
2005 The 3 km loop walking track on both sides of the Honeysuckle Creek was installed with seating and picnic tables along it. The information signs with artwork by Janet Fogarty were also installed in this year.
2006 In conjunction with the Shire the dangerous foot crossings were replaced by a large metal bridge. This was officially opened in 2008.
2021 A major upgrade of the 1 km loop section of the walking track was completed to bring it up to wheelchair access standard.
2005 onwards... As well as continuing the revegetation program, many community information activities were conducted over these years such as:
- Honeysuckle Creek Festivals held annually from 2010 until 2016 with children’s activities, visiting expert speakers, guided walks and an art exhibition on the theme of each festival
- Chain of Ponds sessions learning about the history, geology and environmental value of the Honeysuckle creek in the district. A guided walk upstream to the Green’s Lagoon with a community picnic.
- “Squirrel Gliders, Creeks and Fauna Bridges” presentation by Dr Kylie Soanes of (Melbourne University) about the 10 year project of fauna bridges across the Hume Highway.
- Monthly bird surveys along the Honeysuckle Creek in the Recreation Reserve and the production of the Birds of the Honeysuckle brochure.
- A community presentation by ecologist Lance Williams about the bird survey results
- ‘Gardens for Wildlife’ garden tours and presentation by landscape architect Lou Costa
To see the new developments in progress click here